Tips for When Parenting Gets Real

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Let’s be real. Since I wrote my last heartfelt but very good day post my kid threw up all over himself in bed, my husband got it too and I experienced something of a totally different variety that had me laid up in bed for 24hrs. Alta is the only one whose missed the sickness boat, but even she is constipated and screaming at the top of her lungs in seeming discomfort at various points during the day. Its not been an easy two weeks. 

Also in my recent postpartum world-- 

In an effort to reclaim my three month postpartum body I tried three different workouts because I'm on a mission to feel strong again and I thrive when someone tells me what to do. In the first one I realized how incredibly out of shape I am, in the second my body quaked from the effort and in the third I actually peed my pants from jumping up and down while simultaneously realizing how out of my league AND incredibly out of shape I am. I’ve since committed to the first method and can report back on lagree in a few months.

This parenting thing is SO hard and selfless and unrelenting. The unrelenting is what is ringing most true at this moment. While I love my children so so very much, I also just need a break. And breaks are very hard to come by.

Apart from all of that, none of this acknowledges all of the crazy  and sadness that's happening in our world that has me on high alert and experiencing nightmares that haunt me in my sleep. These are not easy times and truthfully I'm thankful for my therapist who helps me keep me feet on the ground.

So, for now I’m finding solace in these 15 daily practices I found on the podcast I aspire to listen to —but can’t find the time for, because there is no time— Honest Mamas. I’ve adapted most of them to include the partners in our lives too, because they help keep the ship afloat and feel most of our pain (or pain of its own sort). I printed them out and put them on my fridge and read them throughout the day. Each time I find something that helps ground me and feel a little bit better, especially in those moments where I find myself wondering, “what the f*ck is going on?”

Hope that you find them helpful too.

15 Daily Practices

1. Take time to honor your feelings
2. Know that setting boundaries is necessary and worthwhile
3. Put your oxygen mask on first (self-soothe) before you try to help others
4. Fire your inner critic!
5. Notice when you judge or compare with other mothers
6. Do what feels good - don’t forget what you enjoy!
7. Let go of getting it “right”
8. Value your intuition
9. Remember that parenthood is full of seasons - it changes constantly
10. When you feel unclear about something, stop and wait
11. Focus on what you are doing well!
12. When you feel stuck, breathe
13. Remember all the women that came before you...you are not alone!
14. Gather supportive people around you and prioritize positive connections
15. Trust that cultivating more love and gratitude for yourself benefits your children immensely

Ellen Shaw